Strawberry and pansy tart

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Deb Durrant uses pansies in her strawberry tart recipe to give a lovely aesthetic and summer look. You could also use borage or cornflowers if you can't get hold of pansies.

First published in 2015

This week is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital will be turned into an enviable series of remarkable outdoor spaces awash with beautiful blooms.

I have always been interested in flowers not just from the standpoint of fragrance and aesthetics but also how they can be used for culinary purposes. I have always been surprised by which flowers can be eaten and how they taste. We may be used to having nasturtiums on our salads or making wine from elderflowers but you can also eat a whole host of other flowers too such as roses, tulips, snapdragons and even gladioli.

Whenever you are using flowers for culinary purposes it is always important to be sure of what you are eating, as some flowers are very toxic and will make you quite ill. If you are gathering wild flowers, be sure of your source and avoid areas such as roadsides which have high levels of fuel residues and also avoid areas that are frequented by dogs!

If you are not growing your own edible flowers, when purchasing ensure you buy organic edible flowers from a reputable source. I buy mine from Maddocks Farm Organics which has a fabulous selection to choose from.

As a general rule, the flowers that you buy at a florist or in the supermarket won’t be organic and will have most likely been sprayed with pesticides, so don’t use these.

I’ve used pansies and violas for the tarts in this recipe, but this tart would be lovely with borage or cornflowers. I think the pansies have a lovely blowsy quality which is just right for afternoon tea with a pot of Earl Grey.

The tart crust uses a mixture of cashew nuts, coconut flour and oat flour. You can make oat flour quickly and easily by whizzing some dry porridge oats in a food processor so it forms a powder and then sieving to ensure that the flour is very fine.

The custard is made from Thai coconut meat but if you can’t get hold of it, you can substitute with coconut yoghurt or increase the amount of cashew nuts to 220g, soaked.




For the custard

For the garnish


Grind the cashew nuts into a fine flour and add these to a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut flour and oat flour and mix together until well combined. Add the agave and lemon juice and stir. Finally add the melted coconut oil. You are aiming for a mixture that has the resemblance of pastry dough
Press the mixture into tart tins lined with cling film and leave to set in the freezer. Add the filling ingredients to a high speed blender and whizz together until it forms a smooth custard like consistency. Pour into the frozen tart tins and return to the freezer to set
When set, remove from the freezer and allow it to come to room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Top with pansies and violas to serve. This is best eaten within a few hours of removing from the freezer
First published in 2015

Deb combined her interests as a lifelong passionate foodie with a keen interest in a raw plant-based diet to found her blog — Deliciously Raw.

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